MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Destination: Refreshment (Dublin 1979)

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we jump back in time to 1979 in Dublin.

D826

Heineken had a very eye-catching and cleverly designed advertising campaign running on CIE buses at the end of the 1970s – wrapped around the destination display of double-deckers with the strapline “Destination: Refreshment”

The bus displaying it here is D826, one of the final batch of VanHool MacArdle bodied Leyland Atlantean AN68s delivered to CIE in 1977/78, following a gap in production as the Spa Road plant built double-deckers for South Yorkshire and A1 Motor Services.

These last Dublin-built buses differed from the earlier VanHools in having a revised lower frontal section made of fibreglass, and also originally sported the more modern square VanHool badge. Over the years they gradually lost these features, and ended up identical to the bulk of the VanHool fleet, which had been delivered between 1974 and 1976.

D826 is seen here heading inbound on the south quays (in the days before the traffic flow was reversed) and with a hopelessly mis-set destination display, the top blind being halfway between the outbound route 25 and 37 displays, and the lower displaying “via City Centre” which would be more commonly used on cross city routes – “via Chapelizod” would have been more appropriate for the 25.

 

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MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC: Tired Airport Coach (Dublin, 1980)

 

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we jump back in time to around 1980, when CIE was still the sole operator linking Dublin with its airport, and really didn’t have to try too hard in terms of vehicle quality . .

PL25

At the dawn of the 1980s, CIE’s bus fleet still consisted of Leylands of many varieties, and little else.

Atlanteans and halfcab Titans (PD3s) for city services, and Leopards in various forms for city and rural bus services, with VanHool bodied examples for coach tours . . and a handful of rather down-at-heel Plaxtons too, some of which could be found on the airport service, where they represented a step up from the bus bodied C-class Leopards which had been used through most of the 70s.

PL25 is looking a bit tired in this photo at Busarus.

MONDAY MORNING CLASSIC (Dublin, 1981) – CIE Atlanteans

AllAboutBuses invites you to banish the Monday morning back-to-work blues with a spot of time travel . .

This week we visit the early 1980s, when CIE’s Leyland Atlanteans were looking down at heel

D235

By the early 1980s most of CIE’s 602-strong fleet of PDR1 Atlanteans had been repainted into the drab “tan” or orange livery that the newer VanHool bodied AN68s had arrived in. While undoubtedly more simple and inexpensicve than the previous cream & navy livery, it did nothing for the look of the fleet, and tended to fade rapidly, and show dirt and scuffs much more obviously.

1968 delivery D235 is seen here at Earlsfort Terrace heading south on route 20B, back in the days when the service was cross-city and ran to Bulfin Road on the South/West side, a routing long since abandoned by this route, and now served by the hourly 68A service.

D235, a native of Summerhill Depot,  is missing its CIE crest on the lower front, and carries a mismatched blind set – with terminal blinds in both upper and lower boxes, and no via points. Previously, the fleet had Irish language via points in the upper box, and final destination in English in the lower. During the late 70s and early 80s this was changed to bilingual final destination in the upper box, with English via point in the lower. D235 has received the new upper blind, but not the lower one, and so is using “AN LAR”  (City Centre) final destination blind as a makeshift via point.

D81

AS a bonus, we have a second classic shot today.  I wouldn’t normally include one as blurred as this, however it is appropriate this week for a very specific reason.

Donnybrook Garage will this week start putting into service a batch of new Volvo B9TL/Wright Gemini buses numbered GT81-100, and this reminds me of the very similar batch of Atlanteans which were at the depot from 1967 to 1983, numbered D81-106.  These buses entered service on the 15/A/B routes in 1967, but moved to the 11 group a few years later, where they stayed for many years, until replacement by Bombardier deckers in 1981/2.  Coincidently, the new GTs, 81-100 are also for the 11 route, one of those rare synchronicities of allocation linking past and present which happen from time to time.

Above we see D81, early in 1980, and having strayed off the 11 and onto the 64A service, another long-vanished operation. Again, the CIE crest is missing from the front, but this bus retains its original fibreglass front panel, more attractive than the plain metal lower front which gradually replaced them as they became damaged.  This bus has the older style blinds, with Irish via points and English final destination in the bottom, though in this case the via points, which translate as Ballsbridge / Mount Merrion, are incorrectly set for the 64, rather than the 64A, which ran via Leeson Street rather than Ballsbridge.

I think the location of this photo is Moorehampton Road in Donnybrook, but I am not certain.

When GT81 enters service in the next few days, I will add a photo here.

ONE IN TWELVE – MD42

MD42 just off the old N8 in Co. Tipperary

MD42 just off the old N8 in Co. Tipperary

This photo was one of the very earliest to appear on this site back in 1996, being used to illustrate the typical Bus Eireann school operation of the time. the scene is indeed very typical, complete with rusting corrugated iron roof on the building to the right.

The location is a small side road about halfway between Cahir and Mitchelstown along the N8 (the main road is just behind the car that you can see in the photo). The MD lasted there for a number of years, and later KCS188 was to be found close to this location, but I’m not sure what, if anything, is there now.

ONE IN TWELVE – New Old Bus

To celebrate the 12th anniversary of the founding of the site, every day during November I’ll be bringing you one of my favourite photos from the past 12 years.

Today we look at a Cork KC with a surprisingly young registration.

As always, you can click on this picture for the fullsize version.

KC169 was the last of the 848 K-family buses to enter service

KC169 was the last of the 848 K-family buses to enter service

The entry into service of the very last of the K-family of buses, GAC city bus KC169, did not happen until 1992, by which time the bus itself was 7 years old. Originally delivered with a UZG registration, the KC gained a 1992 plate on finally entering service, following years stored and cannabalised at Capwell depot.

Sadly, the modern registration did not prevent KC169 from being withdrawn along with the rest of Cork’s KCs at the start of this decade.

KC169 was a regular on the 14 in Cork for a long time, and it is seen thus employed on a wet Wednesday afternoon in Patrick Street.

ONE IN TWELVE – VanHool Tours

To celebrate the 12th anniversary of the founding of the site, every day during November I’ll be bringing you one of my favourite photos from the past 12 years.

Click on any picture for the fullsize version.

D635 in tour bus guise

D635 in tour bus guise

During the early years of this site, when I ran it while living in the UK, I would usually visit Dublin twice a year or so to get fresh photos and see what was happening on the scene. No such visit was complete without a ride on the city tour, which gave me the opportunity to travel on the VanHools of my youth, which were by the mid 90s gone from normal service.

Of all the buses used on the tour service, my favourites were D635 and DF760, both of which I had known from new in the mid 1970s. 760 had been allocated to my “home” garage, Donnybrook, and although it didn’t work my local routes, I still considered it one of “my ” buses.

I had even stronger memories of D635 however, as despite being a Summerhill bus, it was allocated to a route which came very close to home – so close in fact, that it could be seen from a vantage point at the top of the tall pine tree which grew in our back garden. I had been given a telescope for Christmas one year, and discovered that by climbing to the top of the tree, I could just see the 16As turning round at the Bottle Tower through a gap between the houses. I spent several happy afternoons up the tree watching the buses through the telescope, until complaints from the neighbours to my parents brought a quick end to the practice – they were not so sure it was buses I was watching (though in all innocence, it was! )

When not up a tree, I would often wander over to the Bottle Tower junction, where all the local routes – 14, 14A, 16A, 17, 47A and 61 could be watched together. D635 was a regular on the 16A, and stood out because it was out of sequence from the rest of the route’s allocation, which consisted of D665-669, and 673-699.

The odd ones out were 634, 635 and 644 which had somehow escaped being allocated to Clontarf (through 634/5 were to be sent there in an allocation tidying excercise in 1980).

D635 had a brief spell in Donnybrook in the early 90s, thus becoming one of a small number of buses which would have worked the Churchtown area as both a 14/A and a 16A.

I was pleased to come across it surviving on tours in the late 1990s, and even more pleased that it eventually survived all the others in the system as a tree-lopper to become both the last VanHool owned by Dublin Bus, and the last two-tone green vehicle in the fleet at the time of it’s eventual disposal in February 2003.

Even that is not the end of the story for D635, which has survived in private hands in tree-lopping format, and is currently undergoing renovation to become a special event vehicle.

Given my childhood method of observing the new VanHools on the 16A, it is somewhat appropriate that this bus became a tree-lopper – perhaps there is a message there somewhere?

ONE IN TWELVE – Lost Location

To celebrate the 12th anniversary of the founding of the site, every day during November I’ll be bringing you one of my favourite photos from the past 12 years.

Today we look at a picture taken 11 years ago which can never be recreated – not only is the bus long gone, but the location itself has vanished forever.

Click on any picture for the fullsize version.

Bombardier KD105 parked on the now vanished ramp up to Connolly Station.

Bombardier KD105 parked on the now vanished ramp up to Connolly Station

When this site first started back in 1996, virtually the entire fleet of 366 Bombardier/GM double-deckers were still in service with Dublin Bus and Bus Eireann, and the first 4 years or so of the site recorded their steady decline and eventual scrapping.

This picture, taken in 1997, shows a typical Dublin KD – Clontarf’s KD105 – in the two-tone green livery in which they ran all of their lives, the only modification being the introduction of a thin orange band and logo when Dublin Bus devolved from CIE.

This picture, taken on a wet Friday in May, reminds me of how useful the ramp up to Connolly Station was as a location for layovers. Behind the KD are a couple of Bus Eireann vehicles, including a VC which would probably still be in service today. The location no longer exists – the ramp was levelled and removed in 2002 to make way for the new LUAS Red Line tramway station which opened in 2004.

KD105 is here resting on duty 3/27B – it had been delivered new to Clontarf in February 1982, and was one of the batch which replaced the last open platform Leyland PD3 buses at that garage.